Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Being part of the future

The fat guy on the left explains the capabilities of the new media lab to CMU Board of Trustees Chairman Jeff Caponigro and CMU President Michael Rao. (CM Life)

Usually, I don't link to the "other" paper in town, even though I once worked for them and am proud of that fact. But this time, the college paper, Central Michigan Life, has the story.
Mr. Caponigro came to see his lab.
Jeff Caponigro is a department of journalism alumnus, chairman of the CMU board of trustees, and a wealthy man - obviously. He gave, out of his own pocket, most of the money to build CMU's fabulous new media lab.
He came to see it - and I got asked to be part of of demonstrating it.
I got to demonstrate the photography and graphics capabilities, while my colleague David London, on sabbatical in Cairo, chimed in from an Internet cafe, and my colleague Kent Miller showed off the capability of creating Web video.
It was all very impressive. I feel as if I'm part of the future.
And what a future it will be.
Think about this: The first graphical Internet browser, Mosaic, was released in November 1993, 15 years ago. Microsoft's Internet Explorer came along later; Netscape, Firefox, Safari and the rest came along later. Mosaic is no longer with us. But it's all happened in just 15 years - and look what's out there.

Compare this: The first automotive production line was developed by Ransom E. Olds - not Henry Ford - in 1901 to build Curved Dash Oldsmobiles. Ford and his Model T perfected it, and the world changed.
I would submit that the World Wide Web is about where the automotive industry was 15 years on, in 1916. The basics were there - gasoline-powered internal combustion engines, four rubber tires, a steering wheel, headlights, brakes, springs. All the rest has been fine-tuning and engineering.
The basics of the Web are here now - it's up to us to fine-tune them and use them the best way.
What Mr. Caponigro did was the equivalent of donating an automotive research lab to a major university - in 1916.
It's the beginning, including the Wow Factor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...